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The Horrors of Female Mutilation: Feet

TRIGGER WARNING: Horrifying info & photos.

Part one of our series on the horrors of female mutilation in culture covers how the patriarchy mutilated women in China

In the Patriarchy there is no limit to:

  • The torture inflicted on females to control them.
  • The damage done to male psyches so they desire mutilated women.

Suffering for beauty is familiar to most women, who have lived in incapacitating clothes/shoes, been plucked, shaved, bleached, tinted, squeezed, starved, tattooed, pierced, or even surgically altered.

A millennium of female mutilation in China

In China, small feet were the height of beauty. For over 1,000 years, until the 1950s, girls had their feet crushed into stumps – the prized “3-inch golden lotuses.” Estimates are 2-3 billion were crippled using this agonizing process.

At 4, a girl’s eight smaller toes were broken and wrapped under her soles. Her mother would then bind her feet in bandages which would be tightened every day. Her arch was broken to crush heel to toes; her toenails were pulled out, “excess” flesh cut-off. Broken glass in the bandages abraded skin, rotting it away, making her foot even smaller. Her flesh died and fell-off, along with toes; her foot oozed blood and pus, and stank. Infections, ulcers, gangrene, and paralysis were common; 10% did not survive.

After 2-5 years, with her feet nearly dead, the process was complete.

During this time, the pain was so great she was often unable to walk, eat, or sleep. At the end, she was severely disabled, enduring her remaining years in constant agony. And under perfect male control – she could barely stand, let alone run-away or hold a job.

Women cooperated in this patriarchal barbarism – mothers with bound feet inflicted it on daughters because it was the only way to belong and get a husband.

Males fetishized tiny feet. The height of eroticism was to:

  • Fondle, smell, lick, suck, and have intercourse with her putrefying feet.
  • Drink the water used to wash her rotting stubs or alcohol in which the girl’s pus saturated bandages had been soaked.

Imagine going through this agony as a child just because you are female? Imagine your family doing it to you?

Female mutilation in Western culture

Part two of our series on the horrors of female mutilation in culture covers how the patriarchy mutilated women in western culture.

A crippled foot in China being the height of female sexuality is no different from Western women using corsets to crush their abdomen and organs to create a tiny wasp-waist for the sake of “beauty”.

In use for over 500 years, corsets caused women long-term, irreparable health problems and physical damage: Compressing, twisting, deforming, obstructing, and displacement of abdominal organs. Crowding of the womb creating problems with pregnancy and childbirth. Reduced blood flow and increased blood pressure hurting organ function. Damage to the lymphatic system, dizziness, faintness, build-up of fluid in the lungs, and suffocation – lung capacity is reduced by up to 60%. Damage to ribs, spine, joints, ligatures, and nerves. Atrophy of abdominal and back muscles so severe one cannot stand w/o the corset. Lower back pain. Abdominal pain, indigestion, inability to eat/drink normally causing malnutrition and dehydration. Blood clots, hemorrhoids, varicose veins, swelling in the legs, and ankles.

And perfect male control – she could barely breathe, let alone run away or hold a job.

Women cooperated in this patriarchal barbarism, inflicting it on daughters because it was the way for her to belong and get a husband. (Mothers applied a corset by laying their daughter on the ground, putting a foot in the small of her back, and pulling it tight.)

Males fetishized tiny waists:

• An hour-glass figure was more desirable than a normal one.
• A wasp-waist was “sexy”, with corsets a staple of pornography and brothels.
• Males idolized fragile women – weak, sickly, dependent creatures, who swooned easily.

The last word…

Although these are fads that came and went (for the most part) long ago, they live on through toxic gender image stereotypes.

We’ll also go as far as to say that they’ve been perpetuated by social media, where a few camera tricks and poses can set unrealistic expectations for women and little girls.

Much like the horrifying and gruesome expectations in the days of corsets and feet tucking – these toxic stereotypes make women uncomfortable in their own bodies.